Archers’ will causes shockwaves

A veteran character in BBC Radio 4’s long-running farming “soap” The Archers has dropped a bombshell on her family how she would pass on her own assets.

Peggy, played by June Spencer since 1950, decided that her children were sufficiently well-established not to need an inheritance and that the majority of her grandchildren would benefit from their parents’ business success.

But she considered the position of Tom and Helen, a cheesemaker and manager of her fn. Tony sees his mother’s decision as a signal that he and Pat cannot provide for their children.

Lee McClellan, a partner in Palmers’ Wills, Trusts and Probate team, said: “Despite the upset caused, Peggy may have taken a sensible step in telling her f<!–>amily about her will.

“All too often, people only find out what they have inherited when their parent is no longer around to explain why a will has been structured in a particular way. Even though there may have been very good reasons why this is the case, it can be very distressing for the person who feels they have been excluded and can lead to time-consuming and costly disputes and damaged relationships with relatives.

“Even worse, the reluctance of some parents to face the difficult decisions making a will might involve can result in their estate being divided in line with intestacy laws, often with a different outcome to that they would have wished for.

“Sitting down with a legal professional can help families to work through and resolve potential stumbling blocks together, at an early stage. By listening sensitively to the issues involved, and contributing objective, expert advice, a solicitor experienced in this type of work can help families avoid unnecessary conflict and unhappiness at a later date. For more information, please contact our Wills, Trusts and Probate team.”